I don’t know about you, but I’ve actually been looking forward to moving out for university since my first day of school (ever). I had this image in my head that one day I’ll be hunched over my desk in a messy bun and a hoodie watching Seinfeld when my acceptance comes through and I immediately start to pack and Leave The Next Day. That image is yet to come. I still haven’t gotten my acceptance, and my hair is far too short now for any kind of bun, and it’s too damn hot in Kuwait to wear anything other than a tanktop and shorts. Nevertheless, this has not stopped my over-anxious ass to pack up most of my things even though I don’t even know where I’m going yet. At the start of senior year I made a list on my phone titled “shit u need to get b4 u leave,” and I just kept piling onto this list while my dad’s credit card sobbed in the corner.
Then I spoke to a few friends and they very blatantly told me that they were gonna leave all that packing headache till the last minute, so naturally, I became stressed out for them. To paint you a picture, I’m literally writing this sitting in a room of packed boxes, bas fadel el hedoom ely labsaha delwa2ty w el laptop deta3i wetkoon 5elset el oda, and I’m not even due for a move until Mid-September.
Planning for your first year is nerve-wracking, especially if you’ve never visited that country before or don’t know anyone there yet. And day-long embassy visits and personal essays are But I know how daunting it can be to constantly have to keep in mind the last bits and pieces you need to get before moving, so here’s a checklist so you can focus more energy on the cursed sefara day-long trips or writing your personal essay.
- Anti-corona kit (+ first aid kit)
No one has a remotely accurate idea of when we’ll be able to say “damn remember when Corona”, and you really don’t wanna start your first semester with a lovely virus infection. So pack the essentials,
- Stock up on masks (or even get a few of the pretty reusable ones with the changeable filters)
- Get a box of hand sanitizers, and keep a small bottle in each handbag/backpack. No, the ones from Bath & Body Works won’t work fine, it’s 90% glitter.
- Keep everyone’s favourite lemon-scented Dettol wipes handy and to spare around your dorm/apartment.
- Band aids + disinfectant. I know, it’s such a baby thing, but a very important “just in case”
- Basic hygiene/shower essentials.
You haven’t quite gotten your bearings straight, and the last thing you need to stress about upon landing is how you’re gonna manage to shower without soap. Pack a new bottle of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste/brush, pads/tampons, and maybe a face cleanser while you’re at it. This should cover you for a while in case you can’t instantly figure out the nearest grocery store.
- Any and all medication you might need to use. Especially if you’re going to a foreign country, you need to be extra aware that not all medication is the same across the world. Get an extra box of those allergy pills, or the specific hormone medicine that you’ve ignored for a good half of your life.
- Extra copies of your passport / Visa / ID / any university documents
Could potentially save you in a sitch.
- New + extra cables/chargers
I know for a fact I get anxious when my phone charger stops working when I live with my parents and have them here for me for anything. Make sure to pack one or two spare ones to save yourself the burden of borrowing your roommates charger until they hate you. Extra earphones too aren’t a bad idea, you’re bound to lose a pair or two studying in the library or a coffee shop.
- Power extension cables
Save the first roommate fight of “No that’s my power socket.” Pro-tip – make sure the plug actually fits the country’s wall socket so you don’t have to shop for adapters
- 2-3 power banks
You will forget to charge your phone before bed, and you will have late nights at the library, and you will miraculously save yourself from a very dangerous uber ride home with 3% left. You will also forget to charge your one power bank, so get an extra or two.
- Shebsheb (shower slippers)
This is weird but, if you’re about to share a shower with someone else, don’t be known for the roommates with foot fungus. Also your dorm is bound to get pretty dirty pretty quickly, might as well save yourself from gross feet,
- More underwear than you think you’ll need
Nobody likes to do laundry, and nobody has time for that shit. Need I explain more?
- Earplugs / sleeping mask
You really don’t know what kind of roommate(s) you’re about to have.
Most dorm halls provide basic kitchen utilities like microwaves, coffee machines, and fridges. Call ahead to get an idea of what is available, and based on that, consider a mini fridge or a water boiler for your room. A few mugs/bowls/plates/cutlery are all essentials you don’t wanna miss (especially if you don’t want to share with your roommates).
Just until you can sort out your surroundings, pack a few notebooks and pens in case your first class comes around before you get a chance to run a stationary haul.
- As many space-saving organisers possible. From drawer dividers, dual cloth hangers, and make-up organisers.
- Pretty bed sheets / bedspread / pillow covers –
2 – 3 bed sheets are pretty ideal for a less-than regular laundry schedule.
- Extra prescription glasses
Accidents happen, and you really don’t wanna go a week waiting for your new prescription glasses to be done after accidentally stepping on them after a long night.
- A few card games
The most classic ice-breaker, and a chill activity to entertain the first few awkward weeks of meeting new friends. (Cards Against Humanity and Phase 10 are a personal favourite).
- A soft blanket that you definitely won’t wrap around yourself like a burrito and sob into it.
You’ll need to relax, alot. Maybe once a week you can light the lavender candle that’s been on your shelf for years, and maybe now it will actually help you sleep.
Your time has come ya geel fashel! This is an extremely tense time in your life, and it can be insanely overwhelming, but I’m sure you’ll all do just fine (and if Uni isn’t for you, you have my utmost respect.)
Best of luck,